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Molescreen PDT specialises in diagnosing and treating skin cancer and sunspots. Queensland is the skin cancer capital
of the world. Most people who have been raised in Queensland will have some form of skin cancer during their lives.

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Facts on Skin Cancer

 

 

Risk Factors for Melanoma

The following chart gives the relative risk of a number of factors. For example if you have dysplastic naevi, previously had a melanoma or have a family history of melanoma then your personal risk of melanoma increases by a factor of between 121 to 1138 times the averge risk. The average life-time risk of a male born, raised and lived all his life in Queensland is one in 15 so multiplying that risk by 100 times is significant. Females have a 1:20 risk of lifetime melanoma.

Risk Factor Relative Risk(Times Normal)
New mole or changing pre-existing mole 10 to 400
Dysplastic naevi, previous melanoma and family history of melanoma 121 to 1138
Dysplastic naevi, no previous melanoma and family history of melanoma 14 -299
Congenital naevus (mole present at birth) 1.2 to 1.3
Number of Dysplastic Naevi
5 – 9 4.9
> 10 12
> 5 and many freckles 21
> 10 naevi > 2mm and < 5 mm 3.4
> 100 naevi (any size) 7.6
> 100 naevi (any size) 10
Previous melanoma 3.1 to 5 at 10 years
PUVA treatment (ultraviolet skin treatment for e.g. acne) 5 to 10
First degree relative with melanoma 8
Immunosuppression (e.g. previous chemotherapy) 2 to 8
Sun induced freckles 2 to 4
Fair skin with inability to tan 1.3 to 1.6
Red hair 4.1
Blue eyes 1.4
> sun burns / year
Age 10 to 19 2.7
Age 20 to 29 1.7
Age 30 to 39 1.7
Age 40 to 49 0.94

 

FAQ’s and Myths About Skin Cancer

Don’t attempt to diagnose yourself ask for an appointment. Did you know that most skin cancers can only be diagnosed accurately by using a microscope?

I am worried about something on my skin
A 15 minute appointment is required to diagnose this and appropriate treatment, if required, can then be decided.

My hairdresser has noticed something on my scalp
Scalp melanomas can be very dangerous and easily missed. Your hairdresser may be a life saver. A new mole should always be viewed with suspicion especially on the scalp. However most things on the scalp are not melanomas, so how do you know? A 15 minute appointment is required to diagnose this and appropriate treatment can then be decided upon if necessary.

I have brown patches on my face
These could be anything from simple pigmentation, age spots (seborrheic keratosis), solar keratosis or melanoma. A 15 minute appointment is required to diagnose this and appropriate treatment can then be decided upon if necessary.

I have a sore that won’t heal
This may simply be caused by unconsciously scratching or picking at the area or it might be a skin cancer. A 15 minute appointment is required to diagnose this and appropriate treatment can then be offered if necessary.

I have a pimple that won’t go away
A pimple would normally clear up in a week or so, if that has not happened then you must seek advice promptly. A 15 minute appointment is required to diagnose this. Sometimes a melanoma may present looking like a pimple, it could be red and is not always brown or black.

My mole is itchy
The only way to resolve this is to examine it with a microscope, it may be nothing important but how do you know? A 15 minute appointment is required to diagnose this.

My doctor burnt something off my skin but it has come back
One of the problems with burning the skin (or more likely your skin was frozen with nitrogen) is that no diagnosis by biopsy may be made, so what is growing back? There is usually a scar present that can make assessment more difficult. Most doctors do not have computerised equipment which makes the diagnosis subject to error. A 15 minute appointment is required to resolve this and appropriate treatment can be offered.

I have been advised to have laser treatment for my sunspots
Are they sunspots? Who has made the diagnosis? Laser is not the ideal treatment for large areas of sunspots. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is the treatment of choice for larger areas such as cheeks, forehead, even the whole face. A 15 minute appointment is required to resolve this and appropriate treatment can be offered.

I would like a thorough skin check, how long will that take?
30 minutes will be set aside for the appointment. It will require removing most or all of your clothes. There will be no treatment at that visit and a second visit may be required at a later date. If a dangerous condition is detected then an urgent appointment for treatment will be made as early as possible. Photographs of a selection of moles will be taken for future monitoring and you will be advised of the appropriate frequency of these visits.

I have lots of moles and I am worried
Not all moles are potential melanomas. Detailed examination of your skin will be made. This will take time and 30 minutes will be set aside for the appointment. When the examination is complete the doctor will discuss with you the significance of what has been found and advise you about management.

My relative has just been diagnosed with melanoma or I have a family history of melanoma
Then you are at increased risk of melanoma and depending on other factors, may benefit from regular skin checks and monitoring of your moles with photography. This will take time and 30 minutes will be set aside for the appointment.